I write a homage to the late Bill Hicks twice a year…February 26, the day he took flight, and on his birthday, which is today, normally with great cheer.
Recently, on three occasions, readers questioned the validity of my relationship with Bill, because I’m nowhere mentioned in any of the write-ups about his life.
After regaining myself, feeling terrible to be doubted over something that is so deeply personal, my friend, Chris Mazzilli, who knew us both, persuaded me to write anyway…
even suggesting I post one of Bill’s letters, as evidence.
Well, there’s no way I’m defending myself by sharing his letters, that after 23 years, still mean the world to me.
Despite my 1,688 essays on this blog, I’m a very private person, and alongside him, laid, all that was us, to rest, which doesn’t mean not lovingly writing about him, choosing what is my right to reveal.
I will say, when he died, a part of me did to. Unlike others, I didn’t feel the need to crow to the world who I was to him, and who he will always be to me.
He was gone, and though, even now, still feeling his presence, there was, and is, no point self-aggrandizing myself through our love affair.
Death is a strange phenomenon, especially when it careens out of nowhere, instilling a depth of grief that changes you forever. My innocence was no longer…a young girl’s dream of everlasting happiness, dulled, happily ever after, no longer an option.
I’m stunned at the temerity of people who feel it’s their right to know things that have nothing to do with them.
If Bill were here, he’d be amazed too, soothing me in his Texas twang, smiling at my eternal sensitivity…fuck-em all darlin, he’d say, it doesn’t much matter what they think.
I smile at the thought of that…despite the rough parlance, probably the purest gentleman I’ve ever known, who always took excellent care of me.
I’ll forever remember how he walked on the curbside, and held my hand crossing the street.
William Melvin Hicks would have been 56 years-old today.
Happy Birthday Willie, wherever you are.
I miss you.